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By Alan J. Pierce
pierceaj@techtoday.us
Black & Decker LCS 1020 20 Volt Max Cordless Chainsaw (MSRP $ 129.99)

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    My original review of this saw underestimated its capabilities. So this re-write will describe how this saw is much more capable than I originally thought. My original review indicated that this battery powered saw was the perfect tool for reasonably small chainsaw cutting jobs like cutting off branches in your backyard. I indicated its greatest asset was that this electric chainsaw doesnít need extension cords and for a small job you donít need to deal with the fueling or smell of a gasoline powered saw. Even though it has a 10 inch cutting bar and is powered by a 20 Volt Lithium Ion Battery I didnít see this saw being able to handle a large cutting job without you taking major breaks to constantly recharge its battery. Photo 1 shows what this little battery powered saw cut for removal by the town.
     The last Noríeaster storm that hit the Northeast gave me the opportunity to see how large a cutting job this Black and Decker 20V Max could handle. Two of the three trees in our daughterís front yard received heavy damage. One was split in half, see photo 2, and the other tree lost a number of its major limbs.The clean up job physically, in my opinion, was the kind of job that could be handled by a consumer if they owned a decent chainsaw. I decided to see if the Black and Decker saw was up to the task. Honestly I didnít think it would be able to perform the number of cuts necessary to cut up the different parts of these trees to the required 5 foot or smaller lengths needed to move them to the curb so the town would remove them.
     The largest parts of these trees came close to the maximum 10 inch cutting capacity of the saw and I was amazed on how much I was able to cut before the sawís battery was depleted. Since the saw uses the same physical battery as my other Black and Decker battery tools I had them all fully charged thinking I would need at least 5 batteries to complete the job. I was pleasantly surprised that I was able to do the entire job using only two batteries. When the job was completed the second battery still had about 50% of its charge left to keep on cutting if there was more wood to cut.
   
Reason to Drool
     If the battery is charged this saw is always ready to go and it can easily cut a lot of tree limbs and small tree trunks on a single charge. Since the 20 volt batteries on other Black and Decker tools are all interchangeable you can use them to let this saw handle a reasonably large construction or cleanup project.

Not So Cool
     I found that it was necessary to frequently stop, remove the battery for safety, and then readjust the chainís tension. Their tool-less chain tensioning system for fast and easy adjustments did not do a good enough job keeping the chain bar locked into proper position. To be safe you should perform a visual check of the chainís tension very frequently since a loose chain could come free of the bar and endanger the person running the saw.

Black and Decker Lists the Following Saw Features
1.20V MAX* Lithium Battery for long run-time and long life -- stays charged up to 5x longer
2.10 in OREGON low-kickback bar and chain for smooth and fast cuts
3.Oiling system for lubrication of bar and chain
4.10 in cut capacity for a wide range of cuts
5.Tool-less chain tensioning for fast and easy adjustments
Photo 2: Storm Split one tree in half and brought many large limbs down from two other trees. All clean up was performed with this battery powered saw.
Photo 1: The front yard after completing the clean-up using the Black & Decker LSC1020 40V Max Cordless chain saw